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Marian Kuper

August 9, 2015
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

Governor Terry Branstad, with a stroke of his veto pen this month, wrecked the 2015 Iowa Legislatures' hard-fought bipartisan compromise on education funding. Iowa's children are already at risk becasue of previous such cutbacks, And it's a slap in the face to educators.

But our State Senator, Bill Dix, can do something about this.

Iowa prides itself on its schools. Or, used to. We're now in the bottom third of states for K-12 per-pupil education funding. We continue to fall behind.

We cannot keep yanking more and more funding from our schools and continue to chortle we're giving our kids a "world-class education," one of Branstad's favorite phrases.

The very least we can do is call a special legislative session to overturn this veto. Two-thirds of the membners of both the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House must file written requests for the special session to occur.

Democratic legislators will file - and are filing - such requests. Republicans must step up and do the same. Otherwise, why should legislators negotiate about anything, if our governor takes such and anti-democratic, "Father Knows Best" attitude?

We therefore call upon our state senator and minority leader Bill Dix to request a special legislative session. Lead your fellow legislators on this, Senator Dix.

Iowa's nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency has tallied the per-district dollar amounts that would be restored to individual school districts if this veto can be overturned. Here are the figutes from Senator Dix's territory alone: AGWSR $69,535, Alden $28,773, Aplington-Parkersburg $91,784, Ballard $182,954, BCLUW $64,717, Clarksville $38,252, Colling-Maxwell $53,386, Colo-NESCO $58,282, Dike-New Hartford $97,025, Eldora-New Providence $71,486, Gladbrook-Reinbeck $66,144, Grundy Center $67,706, Hubbard-Radcliffe $47,185, Iowa Falls $121,047, Nevada $175,381 North Butler $71,498, Roland-Story $111,077, West Marshall $93,311. The total is over $1.5 million.

It's not as if Iowa doesn't have the money. The state is sitting on over a billion dollars in surplus and reserves. And Branstad's own budget in January called for more spending than the one the legislature finally passed.

The Governor clearly has priorities higher than Iowa's children. So Senator Dix, now it's your turn to show some leadership. Let's honor the compromise the legislators reached, and do right by Iowa's kids. Request the special session.

Marian Kuper




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